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Portable Generators

Tips for Safe Use of your Portable Generator

Portable generators are popular with homeowners for their ease of use and small size. These can power important electrical equipment, such as home medical equipment, refrigerators, fans, etc.

  • ALWAYS read and follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions BEFORE running the generator.
  •  Generators that are improperly connected can be a danger to you and your family, as well as the linemen who are working to restore power to your location.
  • Generators should only be operated in a well ventilated area to prevent sickness, or even death, from carbon monoxide exposure.
  • Use generators outside! Never use generators inside your home or business; this includes your garage, crawl space, enclosed basements or any enclosed area. Generator engines emit carbon monoxide fumes that can build up. Opening a door or window or using a fan does NOT provide enough fresh air ventilation to remove the fumes.
  • Use battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors in your home and near the area where your generator is running.
  • Generators run on gasoline, which emits flammable fumes. Wait at least 2 to 5 minutes for your generator to cool BEFORE refueling with fresh gasoline. Use a fuel stabilizer if you don’t plan to use your generator for more than 30 days.
  • NEVER plug your generator directly into your home’s wiring without a Power Transfer Switch. Without a transfer switch, you could energize power lines and endanger lineworkers.
  • NEVER operate under wet conditions. Generators produce powerful amounts of voltage. Protect your generator from exposure to wet conditions such as rain and snow. Make sure yard sprinklers do not get your generator wet.
  • NEVER operate your generator near combustible or flammable materials. Keep the area around your generator clean and debris free. Never place items on top or underneath your generator. 
  • NEVER let children play on or around the generator. Keep pets away from the generator or any extension cords.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule to keep your generator in peak performance and operating safely, so it will be ready to use when needed.
  • Have a charged fire extinguisher on hand when operating a generator.